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Leerburg.com May 5, 2011
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Michael Ellis - Engagement Training with His Dog Pi

While Michael Ellis was visiting Leerburg during the week of April 26th, we filmed our new training DVDs. In addition, we filmed several training sessions of Michael and his dog Pi. In this video, you will see a dog that is extremely engaged with his handler, you will see Michael working on capping his dog’s drive for a tug reward, and you will see how playing tug with your dog builds engagement and drive.

May 5, 2011 | 4 Minutes, 44 Seconds

Leerburg's Video on Demand

Now Available
On the Apple iPhone and iPad!

The Power of Training Dogs
with Markers
$35.00 | 3 Hours, 27 Minutes
21 Day Rental

Shop all Michael Ellis videos.

The Power of Training Dogs with Food with Michael Ellis
4 Chapters | $15.00 each
21 Day Rental

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The Power of Playing Tug with Your Dog with Michael Ellis
5 Chapters | $12.00 each
21 Day Rental

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Michael Ellis Remote Collar
3 Chapters | $25.00
21 Day Rental

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Michael Ellis Lecture on the Foundation of Protection Work
$25.00 | 1 Hours, 28 Minutes
21 Day Rental

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Focused Heeling
with Michael Ellis

$60.00 | 3 Hours, 53 Minutes
21 Day Rental

Shop all Michael Ellis videos.

Featured Items!
Prices valid until Sunday, May 8th, 2011 at 11:59 pm central time.

Gripper Leash

Super Gripper Leashes
$22.00-24.00 $17.00-19.00
Save $5!

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$18.99 $15.99
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Mighty Gripz Ball

Mighty Gripz
$18.99 $15.99
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Handmade Leather 2-Handle Leashes

Handmade Leather
2-Handle Leashes


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This Week's Leerburg
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Brand New!
Training the Retrieve with Michael Ellis

Training the Retrieve
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Have a Question on Dog Training?

Have you checked the Leerburg Discussion Board? It is one of the most active dog web boards on the internet. The Leerburg Web Board has over 16,500 Members with over 165 forums and 269,000 posts in its archives. The web board also has an excellent search engine that only searches the web board's 293,000 posts.


Featured Question & Answers

Question: A vet is recommending that my client's 15 week old puppy have hip replacement surgery!!! What do you think of this?

Hi Ed!

Was wondering if you had time to give me your opinion on xrays from a puppy client. These were taken on a 15 week old puppy and they are recommending they do hip replacement surgery! I have also forwarded these to my vet to hear her opinion. I don't think they are the best set of hips but certainly not a candidate for surgery! (I don't think) Do you think there's a possibility of improvement since he is still VERY young and possibly getting a passing hip score?

Thank you so much for your time! It's greatly appreciated!


Ed's Response:

This is one of the most crooked vets I have heard of.

This is a 16 week old puppy and this fool wants to do a complete hip replacement. That vet should lose his license. Plus the positioning is so bad I would not have paid for the x-rays.

Ed Frawley


For more questions on this topic, see our Q&A on Vets.


Question: I trained my dog to be a personal protection dog. He has bit 6 of my friends. What should I do? I don't want to put him down.

Dear Mr. Ed Frawley,


My name is Justin. I live in Vermont and I have a 1 1/2 year old johnson american bulldog/american pit bull mix. His name is Conrad and I have had him since he was 4 weeks old. Conrad is about 85 lbs and extremely aggressive to anyone he does not know. He is very protective of my house, car, kennel and mostly me. He has already bitten 6 people and just bit my girlfriend the other night but did not break skin. I know I was a little hard on him when he was pup and I wanted a good guard dog, but I did not want to have a dog that does not allow me to have friends over. I muzzle him all the time now and he gets all depressed. He hates my 2 older brothers but loves my younger brother and my parents. He was not socialized with many people when he was a pup and I think that has a lot to do with it. I don't know what to do and I am afraid that if he keeps going down this road I might have to put him down and I don't want that. He is my best friend and extremely loyal to me. I have read your how to deal with different types of dog aggression and my dog falls under all of them. Please help me out. Some good advice or something.

Thank you,

Ed's Response:


When people ask me how to raise and train a personal protection dog, I will not help them or answer that question. The reason is what you are experiencing right now. When novice dog trainers do this they are going to get other people bitten. More people should read about your problem.

Your only solution is going to be control. The dog should never be allowed around strangers and a stranger is everyone but yourself. It needs to be put in a dog crate or a dog kennel when people come over. No one wants to kill one of their dogs because the dog bit someone. But when something like this happens it's not a failure of the dog, it's failure of the owner controlling his dog.

What you can and should do is become a student of marker training. Then study the work I do with Michael Ellis (The Power of Training Dogs with Food and The Power of Playing Tug with Your Dog). Use this work to counter condition the dogs behavior. Learn to get your dog engaged with you (search on engagement in our Video on Demand) and use the tools you learn in these DVDs when the dog is around strangers. Teach the dog that strangers translates into engagement with you. This can be done but it takes a tone of work and dedication.

Bottom line is your dog is currently a DEAD DOG WALKING unless you educate yourself and make the changes I just talked about.

Ed Frawley


For more questions on this topic, see our Q&A on Personal Protection Training.


Question: Is there any correlation between excessive panting and a raw diet?


My dog has been on a raw diet for over a month now and I've noticed he's panting quite a bit.  I've searched the website and looked over the books but haven't seen anything on this. Do you know of any correlation between excessive panting and raw? He seems healthy otherwise.

Otherwise, the diet has been a dream. Earwax-gone, itching-greatly diminished, coat-like a puppy, I mean it is really noticeable. Thank you for teaching me about raw though Leerburg. I have already convinced a friend to switch from kibble.


Cindy's Response:

Some foods are more “warming” than others. Chicken, venison and lamb are examples. If you are feeding a lot of either of those meats, maybe try using fish, rabbit or duck for a while (they are “cooling” foods)

Here is a link to some info, they specifically talk about panting.


Has your weather had a drastic change?

Cindy Rhodes

For more questions on this topic, see our Q&A on Raw Diets.


Have a question for Ed & Cindy? Try the Leerburg Search Engine. This search engine was written specifically for Leerburg by our in house IT manager. Our search engine is specific to Leerburg and only searches leerburg.com and the Leerburg web forum. If you can't find the answer to your question by using our search engine, you can email Cindy here at Leerburg at cindyr@leerburg.com. If you have your spam filter on, make sure you set it to receive our replies!!!

Nice Emails from Customers
See Previous Emails

Dear Cindy,

We did it!

After watching the latest newsletter video, I decided to try once again to work on engagement and building drive with my 2 year-old pet GSD. Everything came together for both of us. We really engaged just like you and Rush. For the first time he kept running back to me over and over and over with his toy. It was thrilling.

I am new to training. My dog is easy-going, though that means he doesn't have a lot of drive, he is just right for me. Sometimes I feel like he is trying to show me what to do. Everyday I am reminded, "He knows what I know and he knows what I don't know." I have purchased the training with markers, food and tug videos. I have learned so much.

I have tremendous respect and appreciation for your talent. You make it look easy; I fumble around. But I have continued to refer to your example and finally we have made a breakthrough. I wanted to share my excitement with you and thank you for your inspiration.

With warmest regards,

Leerburg's Affiliate Program
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We Support & Recommend
The Michael Ellis School for Dog Trainers

Openings available!

Michael Ellis has added a new course to his school for dog trainers, MOTIVATION: Advanced Techniques for Increasing Motivation and Drive. This is a 5 day course in which trainers will learn about "making the reward an event,” using restraint to build drive/motivation, proper play techniques (tugging and retrieving games), individual play styles, the use of “food as a toy,” and channeling a dogs energy during development. Read more here.

Email Michael directly on class openings.

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If you have a question, email us at cindyr@leerburg.com.

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